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The Compleat Beatles (1982)

Video  -  Documentary | Music  -  October 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 805 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 4 critic

A documented account of the life and career of the Fab Four, from their early years in Liverpool to their breakup, featuring rare interview and concert footage.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Gerry Marsden ...
Himself - Gerry and the Pacemakers
Allan Williams ...
Himself - Beatles' First Manager
Bill Harry ...
Himself - Editor: Mersey Beat
Tony Sheridan ...
Horst Fascher ...
Himself - Manager: Star Club, Hamburg
Billy J. Kramer ...
Bob Wooler ...
Himself - DJ: Cavern Club
Himself - Record Producer
Nicholas Schaffner ...
Himself - Author, The Beatles Forever
Milton Okun ...
Himself - Record Producer-Arranger
Bruce Johnston ...
Himself - The Beach Boys
Lenny Kaye ...
Himself - Guitarist
Wilfred Mellers ...
Himself - Musicologist


A documented account of the life and career of the Fab Four, from their early years in Liverpool to their breakup, featuring rare interview and concert footage. Written by Hiphats

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Documentary | Music


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Release Date:

October 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Compleat Beatles  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Spoofed in The Compleat Al (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

Not really "compleat" but still very well done
12 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Any documentary on The Beatles which is only 2 hours long is obviously not going to really be "compleat". You could make an 8 hour documentary on their amazing career & it still wouldn't seem like too much.

With that said, this documentary is extremely well done. One of the things I really like about this documentary is that it spends its 2 hours very well. It uses those 2 hours to show the aspects of The Beatles which had long-term effects upon music and culture, such as depicting the evolution of their music from simple pop to more complex album-oriented music to even more experimental music. It also does a great job in painting a picture of how and why the four of them were growing apart - and why their breakup was all but inevitable by the time they reached the end of 1969/beginning of 1970.

The documentary is not perfect. More detail could have been spent on such aspects such as the making of their albums - especially The White Album & Abbey Road. Having seen this documentary several times, it now seems like they only sketch out the details of those albums, especially Abbey Road. But ultimately, this documentary does an extremely good job of showing the important details of The Beatles career in just 2 hours. It also does a good job in showing George Martin's importance in their career.

Final word : Show this documentary to anybody who has medium or even above average knowledge of The Beatles & they will learn a great deal about The Beatles in just 2 hours.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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